Boneless turkey breast is a delicious alternative to chicken, and it’s a great option when you don’t have time to cook a whole turkey. Turkey breasts typically weigh between two and ten pounds, providing plenty of meat for a crowd. They are easiest to cook in the oven or in the slow cooker. The tender white meat of turkey makes a great base for any type of spice mix.
[Edit]Buying and Preparing Turkey Breast
- Buy it by the pound. Boneless turkey breast can be purchased fresh or frozen by the pound. Turkey breasts are much larger than chicken breasts, so you’ll want to keep that in mind when deciding how much to buy. A serving size of turkey breast comes out to 1/4 to 1/2 pound per person. Since cooked turkey keeps well in the refrigerator, you may want to buy extra so you have leftovers for sandwiches.
- If you’re buying a fresh turkey, look for soft pink breasts with no spots of discoloration. If you’re buying fresh turkey that comes prepackaged, be sure to use or freeze it before the expiration date.
- Choose a frozen turkey breast that has no signs of freezer burn. Uncooked turkey breast can be kept in the freezer for up to nine months.
- If it is frozen, melt it. If you try to cook your turkey from frozen, it will take an incredibly long time. Using a refrigerator to thaw slowly is the recommended method.  The night before or the night before you want to cook the turkey breast, put it in the refrigerator so it can thaw slowly. You’ll need to allot 24 hours of thawing for every 4 to 5 pounds of weight.
- Leave frozen breast, still in its packaging, in the refrigerator until it is needed to be taken out. Place the breast on a plate or tray to catch any juices that may ooze out of the packaging as the meat thaws.
- If you don’t have time, thaw the turkey in a cold water bath. Submerge turkey, still wrapped, in a large bowl or sink of cold tap water. Replace the water with fresh cold tap water every half hour. Allow a half-hour thawing time per pound of weight using this method.
- Use the microwave for the fastest thawing option. Remove all packaging from turkey breast. Place it on a microwave-safe dish to catch any juices. Use the power setting and cooking time recommended in the user’s manual for thawing or defrosting meat.
- Remove packaging. Once the breast is thawed, remove any packaging it came in. Fresh or frozen turkey breast is often wrapped in plastic mesh, and you want to be sure to remove it before cooking the turkey. If your breast is rolled like a roast, unroll it before cooking.
- Consider marinating turkey breast. While using a marinade is not required, it does result in tender, flavorful meat. Prepare your marinade at least one hour before you plan to cook the turkey. Choose any store-bought marinade, or make your own, to baste your turkey. Place turkey in a large food storage container and pour marinade over it. Use one-quarter cup of marinade in the container for each pound of turkey meat. Let it marinate for one to three hours before cooking.
- You can prepare a quick marinade by mixing 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 4 teaspoons minced garlic, 1 teaspoon black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt for every four pounds of turkey.
- Be sure to put the meat back in the refrigerator for the duration of the marination.
- Because thawing at high temperatures (cold water bath and microwave) can encourage bacterial growth, it is recommended that you cook rapidly thawed meat immediately. Therefore, you should thaw your turkey breast slowly in the refrigerator if you plan to marinate it for a few hours before cooking.
[Edit]Baking a Boneless Turkey Breast in the Oven
- Preheat the oven.
- Calculate cooking time. The larger your turkey breast, the longer it will take to cook. When roasting, turkey breast requires about 25 minutes of cooking time per pound.
- For a smaller four- to six-pound turkey breast, set aside between 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 hours. For a large six to eight pound turkey breast, set aside between 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 hours.
- If you’re cooking at an altitude of 5,000 or more feet, you’ll need to add an additional five to ten minutes of cooking time per pound.
- Season the turkey. Rub the turkey breast with olive oil, and sprinkle a few pinches of salt and pepper over the skin. If you wish, you can sprinkle dried thyme, oregano, sage or basil over the turkey.
- If you want to use fresh herbs, roughly chop them and stuff them under the skin of the turkey, so they cook right in contrast to the meat for flavor.
- If you like the flavor of lemons with poultry, try slicing a lemon and inserting the slices skin-side down, removing after baking.
- Place turkey in roasting pan. Spray an oven-safe roasting pan with non-stick spray or vegetable oil to keep turkey from sticking. Place turkey breast skin-side up in roasting pan.
- Cook the turkey. Roast turkey until internal temperature is reached as measured by meat thermometer. Cooking the turkey slowly (325°F) helps ensure that the breast doesn’t dry out.
- If you want to make sure the breast stays moist, you can baste the top of the breast from time to time during the cooking process. Use either a large spoon or a turkey baster to pour the pan liquid over the surface of the breast.
- For crispy skin, turn on your broiler and set it to .
- Let turkey rest at room temperature for 20 minutes. Cover the turkey with foil and let it rest on the countertop for several minutes. During this time, the turkey’s juices will be re-absorbed into the meat. Skipping this step will result in dry meat.
- Slice turkey breast. Use a carving knife to cut it into portion-sized slices. To serve keep them in a big plate.
[Edit]slow cooker boneless turkey breast
- Calculate your cooking time. Since the slow cooker operates at a much lower temperature than the oven, it takes longer for the turkey breast to reach internal temperature. This enables you to put it on and forget about your day for several hours.
- Using the “Low” setting, a four- to six-pound turkey breast will take five to six hours to cook in a slow cooker. A larger six to ten pound breast will require eight to nine hours.
- Using the “high” setting will reduce the cooking time to the equivalent of a conventional oven.
- Place turkey breast in slow cooker. Remember that before cooking it must be thawed and opened. It’s also a good idea to remove the skin. You can’t crisp the skin in a slow cooker, so you might as well throw it away before cooking.
- Add spices. Whatever you add to the slow cooker will simmer with the turkey breast all day long, creating a surprisingly delicious final product. You can make your own spice mix or use a store-bought mix. Try one of these:
- Make your own by mixing 1 teaspoon dry minced garlic, 1 teaspoon seasoned salt, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, and 1 teaspoon black pepper.
- If you don’t have the right spices, you can use a packet of onion soup mix or a bouillon cube or packet. Dissolve one cube/packet in one cup of hot water and add to slow cooker.
- Consider adding vegetables and herbs. The great thing about the slow cooker is that it’s one-pot cooking that can’t be messed with, so go ahead and throw whatever veggies and herbs you have in the fridge in there, as long as they’re ready. With turkey make sense. Potatoes, carrots and onions are all great choices for vegetables, as are parsley, sage and oregano for herbs.
- Cut the vegetables into large pieces to prevent them from breaking down too much during the long cooking time.
- If you don’t have fresh herbs in your fridge or garden, you can substitute them with dried herbs from your spice rack.
- Cover everything with water. Add enough water to cover the top of the turkey so it doesn’t dry out during cooking. You can also use chicken broth instead of water.
- Set the power level on your slow cooker. You can set it high or low depending on how much time you have. Remember that if you set the slow cooker to low, it will take five to eight hours to cook; If you set it on high heat, it will take much less time.
- Check the internal temperature to make sure it’s cooked through. Make sure the internal temperature of the turkey reaches at least that using a meat thermometer.  Insert the tip of the thermometer into the thickest part of the breast, being careful not to poke the thermometer all the way through the breast. Wait for the display to stabilize before reading the temperature.
- Remove turkey from slow cooker to carve. Place it on a cutting board and cut it into slices with the help of a knife.
- If a meat thermometer is not available, cook the turkey breast until the juices run clear inside. To test this, make a small incision in the center of the turkey breast. The juices coming out of this incision should be completely clear to indicate that the breasts are cooked through.
- Always slow thaw the meat in the refrigerator if you plan to marinate it, as fast thawed meat needs to be cooked immediately.
- Do not refreeze rapidly thawed meat; It should be cooked immediately.
- Cook the meat more quickly if you thaw the turkey faster by defrosting it in a cold water bath or in the microwave.
- Always wash your hands with soap and hot water after handling raw meat.
- Don’t let your turkey thaw too quickly, as this can allow potentially dangerous germs to develop.
- slow cook a turkey
- [v161921_b01], 23 November 2022.